New Territory: Introduction to Black Performance Studies
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Christina Knight (Section 01)
(Offered as BLST 233 [US] and THDA 233.) What does it mean to say that we "perform" our identities? What role can performance play in the fight for racial and social justice? As a people long denied access to literacy, what role has performance played in shaping the history of black Americans? Performance studies--an interdisciplinary field devoted to the study of a range of aesthetic practices--offers us insight into such questions. In this course, we will investigate various performance "sites" including contemporary plays, movies, and television as well as social media. We will query the relationship between identities like race, gender, class, and performance as well as the connection between performance onstage and everyday life. We will also examine the kinds of political questions that performers raise with their work as well as what role spectators play in shaping how performances communicate meaning.
Fall semester. Visiting Professor Knight.